This Salmon Quinoa Salad is a simple and quick, but very impressive meal.
About the Recipe
The salmon is deliciously seasoned and combined with nutty quinoa, crisp cucumber, sweet cherry tomatoes, peppery arugula and earthy kale to bring a burst of freshness in every bite! It is a perfect dinner or lunch option for any day of the week.
You will love that you can make this salad ahead of time for family gatherings or meal prep for the week. Along with this salad being delicious, it’s also quite nutritious as well!
Salmon is full of healthy fats and is so delicious. Plus, leftover salmon is great for lunch the next day!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Nutritious and Delicious - This salad is a great way to incorporate a lot of healthy ingredients into your diet. Omega-3 salmon, high fiber fluffy quinoa and nutrient-packed veggies all add great flavor, texture and are delicious together.
Simple - This an easy recipe to prepare which makes it a great option for a quick and easy meal! You can cook the quinoa and salmon at the same time and then simply chop up the veggies and mix everything together. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
Versatile - You could easily customize this salad to suit your preferences or dietary needs. It is simple to swap out different veggies or grains, adjust the seasonings or add additional ingredients. Make it as simple or complex as you please, depending on your tastes and available ingredients.
Here are the simple ingredients you will need for this salmon salad:
- Salmon: You will need two skin-on salmon filets.
- Salt & black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Olive oil
- Tomatoes: Use halved cherry tomatoes.
- Onion: Use sliced red onion.
- Cucumber: Mini cucumbers are best, but you can use a seedless cucumber in their place.
- Herbs: Fresh thyme and rosemary are used in the dressing and can also be used to garnish the salad.
- Fresh lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice will give you the most fresh and best flavor.
- Vinegar: Use apple cider vinegar in the dressing. You could also use balsamic vinegar as a substitute.
Let's make this salmon recipe together!
Step 1: To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a bowl or a jar with a tight fitting lid. Whisk or shake until the ingredients are fully combined. Set aside.
Step 2: In a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and olive oil. Stir to combine.
Step 3: Pat the salmon dry. Rub the seasoning mixture over the salmon.
Step 4: Heat a medium skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the salmon, skin side down, and cook for 4 minutes per side or until the salmon is cooked through. Salmon is done when it is opaque in the center and easily flakes with a fork.
Step 5: Remove the salmon from the skillet and discard the skin.
Step 6: Combine the cooked quinoa, arugula, kale, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and cucumbers in a large bowl. Toss well to combine.
Step 7: Place tender salmon on top of the quinoa mixture and drizzle with the dressing.
Step 8: Top with fresh herbs and serve!
Expert Tips and Tricks
Here are some expert tips to make the best salmon salad:
Multitask - While the quinoa cooks, make the dressing and chop the vegetables. Once the salmon is done, you will have everything else prepped and ready to go!
Shake it - Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake well and pour over the salad.
Chop - If you prefer a more subtle red onion flavor, finely chop the onion instead of slicing it. This will give you the flavor without overpowering the other ingredients!
Here is some kitchen equipment you will need for this beautiful salad. You can find all of these products on Amazon.
Wooden Spoon - I love these wooden spoons for mixing and serving the salad.
Skillet - You'll want a high quality large skillet with high sides.
Here are some common recipe substitutions and variations for this salmon quinoa bowl.
Cucumber - Instead of mini cucumbers, use a seedless English cucumber or remove the seeds from a regular cucumber.
Additions - For some added flavors and textures try adding feta cheese, nuts, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, black beans, fresh cilantro, red bell pepper, or more salmon!
Substitutions - If arugula and kale aren’t your thing, try baby spinach or mixed greens in their place. You can also use tricolor quinoa or other whole grains in the salad.
What To Serve With
Here are some recipes to serve alongside this simple salad recipe:
Limoncello Spritz - Limoncello Spritz is a super easy and refreshing cocktail. This Italian inspired drink is perfect for a summer cocktail!
Roasted Grapes - These Roasted Grapes are a sweet, sophisticated treat to add to your next charcuterie board. They are tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper before getting roasted until they are caramelized on the outside and full of flavor on the inside.
Simple Lupini Beans - This Simple Lupini Beans Recipe is the perfect side dish to a variety of meals. It will be a favorite dish in no time!
Frequently Asked Questions
Quinoa is a high protein, gluten-free grain with a nutty flavor and chewy texture.
Sure! This is actually quite delicious after the flavors had some time to combine. Make this up to a day ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.
Use a meat thermometer to ensure doneness of salmon - 145F. If you don't have a meat thermometer, you can gently press down on the salmon. If the fish flakes, it's ready to eat!
Recipe Storage and Reheating
Here are storage and reheating instructions for this recipe:
Refrigerator Storage: Store in an airtight container and eat leftovers within 4-5 days.
Freezer Storage: Freezing is not recommended for this recipe.
Other Recipes to Try
Salmon Quinoa Salad
For the salmon:
- 2 salmon fillets
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the salad:
- 2 cups quinoa cooked
- 1 cup arugula
- 1 cup kale
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced
- ½ red onion sliced
- 2 mini cucumbers sliced
- Fresh herbs for serving
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon rosemary
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Make the dressing. Combing extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a jar or bowl. Shake or whisk until combined and set aside.
- Pat salmon filets dry. Combine salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and olive oil in a small bowl. Rub mixture over salmon.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add salmon, skin side down, and cook for 4 minutes per side, until salmon is cooked through.
- Combine cooked quinoa, arugula, kale, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and mini cucumbers in a bowl. Toss well.
- Top quinoa salad with salmon and drizzle with dressing. Top with fresh herbs and serve.